Read the Introduction

Enjoy reading Rona's introduction to Sweet, Sweet Sorghum.


As a Kentuckian, I live squarely within the boundaries of Sorghum Nation, and I am one happy citizen of this sweet place. Sorghum Nation is a taste country that includes roughly the same midwestern and southeastern parts of the United States where traditional home cooks avoid putting sugar in their cornbread—quite convenient, as we shall see, because sweet sorghum syrup on crunchy, savory cornbread may be even more delicious than sorghum-n-biscuits.

I wrote Sweet Sweet Sorghum to encourage more people to eat this luscious, nutritious food I have loved as long as I can remember. Sorghum is that rare food that is good, good for us, good for small farms and farm families, good for communities, and good for the earth. A food this fine should not be rare in the sense of hard to find or scarce, as it can be now. Sweet sorghum syrup deserves to be on every table and in every kitchen pantry. If we eat it, growers will grow it.

In this book, readers new to sorghum can sample tasty bits of information about its origins, cultivation, and uses. Sorghum fans may find fresh tidbits to savor. The recipes, beginning on page 51, offer new taste adventures in the kitchen.

Like many in Sorghum Nation, I love the traditions of sorghum, the pressing and cooking outdoors that attract an eager crowd, the smell of the cane juice cooking down on blue autumn days, the taste of the green foam licked off the end of a peeled piece of cane—or any object one can find that the cook will allow as a dipper. I treasure the happy moment after a good meal when butter and sorghum begin their swirling dance and prepare to glorify a biscuit.

Even so, the past and present of sorghum molasses pale compared to its future. Eco-friendly, anti-oxidant-rich, cash producing sorghum cane, which growers around the world use for food, fiber, and fuel, can support our farms and small communities. Those of us who love the small farms and farmers of Kentucky and the rest of Sorghum Nation have the future in our sticky hands. The more we buy and use this intriguing, flexible food, the more sparkling and prosperous our beloved communities will be.  

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